I dropped Aidan off at daycare (only goes one day a week) and I’m a little irritated. This morning Aidan asked to wear his jocks to school, he wanted to show his friends and carers that he could do “no accidents“. He was ready, I knew it and so did he but I wasn’t prepared, emotionally. I like being the one he high fives after he’s done his business, I know I’m crazy.
So we packed 3 extra pairs of jocks (and a couple of extra pants) just in case and had a little chat about asking for help and letting someone know he’s been. After hearing a few daycare toilet training horror stories from my online mothers group it has me a little on edge. He’s come so far and it’s all been so positive, he feels proud and good about the whole thing. I’m afraid a stranger will step in and ruin all that.
We got to school and Aidan was happy, all the kids and carers were outside but getting ready to come in for morning tea so I waited and waited and then a substitute carer called through the fly screen “You want me to take him?” and I said “No that’s ok he’s fine I just want to discuss his toilet training.” so she opened the door a smidge, stuck her nose through and said “ok so he’s in jocks then? No worries, ok Aidan say bye to Mum.” all too eager to fob me off. I can’t be too sure but I think my jaw dropped. The control freak in me was dying to let loose and had the urge to say something along the lines of “Now look here missy…“
I found the words tumbling out rapidly without pause until my lungs hurt: “He’s dry all day but you have to ask every hour or so if he hasn’t been as he’s never been the toilet here, we just a potty at home, not the toilet and we give high fives every time he goes and we say ‘no accidents’ very upbeat and if he has an accident that it’s ok, don’t be negative about it at all, not in any way, just say something like ‘oh well next time when we have to go potty we make sure to race over and tell someone right away that way there’ll be no accidents’ and if he does go to the potty we say ‘good job’ a lot at home so that might be comforting and we don’t use food or stickers as a reward, stamps are ok if you think they will help and he likes to pick out his own clothes so let him do that if they get dirty, its a tool were using to help him assert his independence and build self esteem oh and no nappy at nap time unless he asks for it as he’s not in his own bed and might feel a bit uncomfortable as he hasn’t been wearing jocks or a nappy to bed and we remind him once he’s in bed before he goes to sleep that ‘no accidents’ in the bed and as soon as he wakes up he should go to the potty but anyway he’s really good and should let you know but he’s a little shy and might not tell you so be sure to ask him just in case ummm ok I think that’s it bye Aidan I love you…“
Did you notice I didn’t use full stops, that’s because there weren’t any, I became that mother, the helicopter parent. I should have just sent him to school with a spreadsheet of instructions for his carers and slapped a big gold star sticker on his head with “THIS CHILD IS SPECIAL BREAK HIM AND YOU DIE” written on it. I’m not even sure my message got across, her eyes seemed to glaze over about three seconds into my rambling.
As Aidan ran off to play and the substitute closed the door in my face I felt like I had let my son down, that anything negative regarding toilet training that happened today would be my fault. I should have asked to speak to someone else, maybe shown Aidan the school toilet one more time before I left, I should have stamped my foot and lowered the tone of my voice, hell even growling at her probably would have been more effective.
I stood outside his classroom watching through the window, worrying but knowing all the while that he would be fine. So much has changed for us and in such a short amount of time so we’ve been adjusting together: we were a team. He’s getting older and it hurts and yet lifts me up all at the same time. Why didn’t anyone tell me parenting would be like this?… oh you did?… sorry I wasn’t listening… you must have been rambling.